•  
  • TIMELINE
  • 1968
  • June - Joe graduates from Brick Township High School as class Valedictorian
  • September - Joe begins attending Penn State University, majors in Meteorology; on NROTC scholarship
  • 1969
  • March - Dean's List
  • Everyday - Joe's own internal struggle with his sexuality
  • June - September - Ten- week Navy ROTC training/working cruise at sea
  • 1970
  • May - Joe relinquishes NROTC scholarship and changes to Secondary Education (science) major in College of Education
  • July - Joe’s first date with another gay man
  • September - Joe visits Penn State Student Counseling Center seeking guidance on being gay and meeting other gay men. Counselor suggests stalking downtown streets and "making eye contact".
  • October - Joe attends first Penn State “Free University” class meeting on homosexuality
  • 1971
  • March 15 - “The Other Vision: Homophiles of Penn State (HOPS)” charter submitted for recognition to Penn State Undergraduate Student Government; Joe is HOPS Treasurer
  • April 22 - USG approves HOPS charter as a recognized Penn State student organization
  • May - Joe “comes out” to parents and sisters
  • May 10 - Penn State removes and destroys HOPS public bulletin boards in Student Union; suspends HOPS’ charter as student organization
  • May-June - Penn State lawyers and administrators study HOPS charter; HOPS & student organizations demonstrate for HOPS right to exist
  • September 1 - Penn State denies HOPS a student organization charter
  • 1972
  • January - Joe begins student teaching assignment at Park Forest Junior High School, State College, PA
  • Feb 11 - HOPS files suit against Penn State to recognize HOPS as student organization; Joe is one of four student plaintiffs
  • February 14 - Penn State terminates Joe’s student teacher assignment (having already successfully completed 6.5 of 10 week assignment)
  • February 22 - Joe seeks court injunction against Penn State to regain student teaching position; Court grants injunction
  • February 23 - Joe returns to classroom as student teacher
  • March - Joe successfully completes student teaching assignment; given a grade of “B+”
  • April - Joe submits numerous applications for teaching positions for the school year beginning in September
  • April - Joe submits routine application to Penn State College of Education for a Pennsylvania teaching certificate
  • April - Dean of the Penn State College of Education refuses routine "sign-off" on Joe's "good moral character"
  • May 15 - University Teacher Certification Council (UTCC) is convened by Dean of the College of Education to decide whether Joe has requisite “good moral character”; delays its decision
  • May 19 - Joe has employment interview with Montgomery County Public Schools
  • May 25 - UTCC meets and delays its decision again
  • June 2 - HOPS sponsor "Gay Festival" weekend of picnics, forums, parties
  • June 13 - UTCC meets and delays its decision again; HOPS and other student organizations picket to protest Penn State’s certification delays
  • June 20 - Joe graduates from Penn State with 3.34. Grade point average; without teaching certificate
  • July 10 - Six Penn State Deans (UTCC) interrogate Joe on “good moral character” issue
  • July 17 - UTCC sends deadlocked 3-3 decision on Joe’s moral character to Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pittenger
  • August 7 - Joe receives and signs teaching contract with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), - Parkland Junior High School, Rockville, MD
  • August 29 - Joe begins teaching eighth grade earth science at Parkland Junior High School
  • September 22 - Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pittenger calls press conference to announce that he has certified Joe to teach in Pennsylvania
  • September 23,24 - New York Times, Washington Star & Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer report Joe's certification
  • September 26 - Joe removed from Parkland Junior High School classroom – “temporarily” assigned to Department of Curriculum and Instruction (away from students)
  • October 26 - Joe on Maurey Povich“Panorama” – Washington, D.C.TV show; Gay Activist Alliance confront school board candidates at MCPS school board campaign meeting
  • November 7 - Joe files suit against MCPS to regain teaching position – suit supported by National Education Association(NEA), and its Maryland and Montgomery County affiliates
  • November 9 - Joe and parents discuss parent/gay child issues on WNET, New York Public Television, “How Do Your Children Grow,” episode “Our Son -- The Homosexual”
  • 1973
  • January 25 - Penn State University settles suit with HOPS – HOPS formally recognized
  • February 25 - “The Case of Joe Acanfora” appears on CBS "60 Minutes"
  • April 12 - Federal District Court – Maryland 4-day court trial begins; Joe, students, fellow teachers, school officials, and “expert” child development witnesses all testify
  • May 1 - MCPS does not renew Joe’s employment contract
  • May 31 - Federal District court issues decision – DENIES Joe’s return to classroom
  • June - Joe files appeal of District Court decision to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • November 6 - Appeals hearing before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • 1974
  • February 8 - 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision – DENIES Joe’s return to classroom
  • Summer - Joe files appeal of 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision to the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Fall - U.S. Supreme Court DENIES writ of certiorari